Torts-Joint Tort-Feasors–Release of One Not Release of All
Plaintiff, a woman who had been struck by a taxicab, underwent treatment by defendant-physician. After eight months under defendant’s care, she accepted his assurances that she would fully recover, and executed a general release in favor of the taxi driver. Plaintiff subsequently discovered, however, that the defendant had been negligent in his treatment of her both before and after the execution of the release. In a malpractice action before the Supreme Court of New York judgment was entered in favor of the plaintiff, and defendant appealed. The Appellate Division dismissed the original complaint, holding that the general release discharging the original wrongdoer also discharged the physician. On appeal, held, reversed and judgment reinstated, three judges dissenting. The release of one tort-feasor does not discharge another tort-feasor unless it is so intended or the consideration given constitutes full satisfaction. Derby v. Prewitt, 12 N.Y.2d 100, 236 N.Y.S.2d 953, 187 N.E.2d 556 (1963).